Monday, July 16, 2012

What, exactly, CAN we do?

So, last week I suggested that it was time to move from the "why" of climate change to the "how to deal with it."  So what does that mean exactly?
.
Well.. California started doing this about 30 years ago.  Most of California's dams were built NOT to store water reserves, but to stop flooding.  The water reserves for California (which is dry all summer) are held in the Snow Pack of the Sierra Nevadas.  But, climate change reduces snowfall, and increases rainfall.
.
So dams that were designed to hold floods - then release the water as quickly as safely possible for the next flood - have be redesigned, rethought or rebuilt to hold water through the summer.  And you need a lot more reservoirs to hold water, than a natural snow pack in the mountains.
.
So, you have to think ahead.  Look at Arkansas.  They are having horrible droughts.  Killing crops, causing farmers to sell cattle because they can't graze.  But less than 700 miles away Texas is having horrible floods. We have to move the water from the flooding areas to the drought areas.
.
It won't be easy.  There aren't obvious natural reservoir areas in the Plains states.  I mean, "Plains" implies flat; not easily dam-able.  But weather patterns are changing, so we have to find sites, move people and build irrigation where it was never needed before.  This is made even more critical because of the over pumping of the Ogalala Ground Water (which is the glacial ground water under most of the plains - water that does not naturally get replaced).
.
It won't be easy, but as you see on the news most every night, it is going to be critical toot suite.

No comments: